July 28, 2005

Pill quitter’s report: first cycle

At the end of June I quit pills for vague reasons, and I’m happy to report that my first pill-free cycle in six years has gone off without a hitch. I have 100% positive things to report. There have been a few pleasant changes in my body and no negative ones.

I’m surprised at how easy this is so far, and I hope I’m not jinxing my next six months of menstruation by saying that.

Highlights of my easy, happy, pill-quitting experience:

  • My skin instantly became nice again
  • My cycle ran through 28 days like clockwork. It is hard to escape the sense of having been calibrated.
  • Welcome back, real ovulation (or reasonable facsimile thereof)! I remember these sensations and discharges and smells!
  • My period was actually better behaved than while on my last brand of pills. It used to start on about day 5 of its 7 day window, then not stop until I started taking the next pack of pills. This time, it arrived in good time, made its presence moderately felt for 2 days, then made a graceful exit. None of the barf-inducing terror-cramps I experienced before pills. (So far. I remain vigilant.)
  • My boobs are slightly smaller but, very happily, haven’t changed enough to ruin the fit of the rare and expensive bras that come in my (former) size.
  • Perhaps coincidentally, I’ve noticed a revived interest in a lot of things I enjoyed when I was 19. In the first week without synthetic hormones, I rearranged all the furniture, stayed up until 3 and 5 in the morning, and listened to Jane’s Addiction and trip hop. As long as my more obnoxious teenaged habits stay dead, I’ll be quite happy.

Reverting to condom use is mostly ok, too.

The upside of using condoms again is mainly that loverman has taken complete responsibility for stocking, using and disposing of them. This is an unforeseen and revolutionary pleasure! I was really, really tired of thinking about birth control. Alternating control of contraception is an excellent option for avoiding contraceptive malaise in long-term relationships, much more so than I realized.

I have never before left condoms, or any birth control, entirely up to someone else. I had no idea how much happier and more relaxed I could be about birth control. I was never that frazzled about pills in the first place, but I’m practically giddy now. If your situation allows, I’d highly recommend swapping duties now and then.

It also helps that we happened to walk past Toys in Babeland while in Seattle, and bought a bunch of hilarious yet functional condoms on the cheap. Opaque black condoms are bad-ass!

I had forgotten that I used to think of condoms as sex toys. Maybe that former habit can be revived along with my furniture moving compulsion.

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